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on 21 May 2001
This is a really wonderful book. It's a vegetarian cook book but should appeal to everyone, even rampant carnivores like myself. Anna Thomas has a truly original take on cookery, influenced by her southern california home (fabulous mexican recipes - accessible ingredients, easy to cook and wonderful to eat) and her Polish background (terrific mushroom recipes, little Polish pastries). Above all, she is a cookery writer who is a pleasure to read: if you enjoy Nigel Slater/Nigella Lawson etc., you will love Anna Thomas - her evident belief that food should not only be healthy but should be a celebration is evident in every recipe. This is a book that you will use, but it is also one that you will sit and read for pleasure.
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on 16 July 2001
I've always liked reading cookery books (Jane Grigson etc), and this book is intelligent, entertaining, and great to read. I've been carrying it around in my bag for a couple of weeks and reading it on the train (weird, hey?). And when I do venture to the kitchen, the food has been great too - I really liked the charred tomato and mushroom soup, and the gingered squash and apple soup was lovely. The one criticism I would have is that all the recipes are for 6-8 people, so when I'm cooking for just myself, resizing gets a bit complicated.
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on 31 May 2005
I have used this book often since buying it. My only complaint would be that it is geared towards entertaining and most recipes are for 8 to 12, but they are well worth scaling down, and the desserts in particular have been very popular among friends. Ingredients for the more native Mexican type recipes are hard to come across here, but everything else she calls for is easy to get. My mother had an early copy of "The Vegetarian Epicure", now in loose pages from use, but was borrowing so many recipes from this book from me that she bought her own copy. A good buy even for non-vegetarians, recipes range from easy cooking for the family to quite impressive dinner parties.
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